Thursday, March 13, 2008


I have noticed that there have been some follow-ups to some of my recent posts that I thought I'd add here for the benefit of my readers =).

To the MAC Champions! : Turns out some Kent State students started a Facebook group called "WE DON'T THOW STUFF" in reference to the sign seen at the March 9th game at Akron. I had to laugh when some Akron student joined the group and then claimed that maybe the word "throw" was spelled wrong on purpose. Riiiiiiight. And spelling it wrong on purpose would accomplish....??? I guess if their sole purpose was to make themselves look bad, then they succeeded, but really as far as I've been able to tell the misspelling was not on purpose judging by the reaction of the Akron student section once they saw the sign for a few seconds and hurredly took it down. Hardly sounds like the reaction of a group who purposely spelled it wrong, eh? I only include this not because I think anyone who goes to Akron is stupid, but because many are always saying "can't read, can't write, Kent State" (or some variation of it). What's funny about that phrase is that we use it on ourselves all the time. I've seen it on campus in a few places from dorm windows to car window decals.

On a brighter note, Kent State took home some serious conference awards. Not only did coach Jim Christian win MAC Coach of the Year, but Haminn Quaintance ("Q") won MAC Defensive Player of the Year and junior Al Fisher was named MAC Player of the Year. Not bad to go along with four players named to the all-conference teams: Fisher to the first team, Quaintance and senior Mike Scott to the second team, and sophomore Chris Singletary an honorable mention. Now, on to the MAC tournament tonight in Cleveland against Toledo. All the talking heads seem to think Kent State can get into the NCAA tournament regardless of the outcome of the MAC tournament, but I'd still like them to win the whole thing anyway and go into the NCAA's on a win rather than risking it like that. Even though another Kent State-Akron mathup would be fun (it is possible in the final), I'd like to see KSU vs. Western Michigan since we only played them once this season in Kent. I think that would be a good game. If Kent makes it to the final on Saturday, I'll be there to watch!

A little venting... : I got an e-mail from my friend Tina whose husband Jacob is currently stationed in Iraq in the community of Hawr Rajab in southern Baghdad doing pretty much what I was talking about in my post: reconstruction that doesn't get a lot of press. Turns out where he is, they've had a lot of success in rebuilding the infastructure and getting the economy up and running again, which is the biggest deterrent to terrorism in the area. Most people turn to terrorism because they are destitute and have no other way to get money; not just because they have some deep hatred for the U.S. (though obviously many do). As new jobs come in, they have new options. Schools have reopen, shops are up and running, and they even have a women's initiative group operating in the area (think one of those existed under Saddam?). The main item in the article discusses the vocational training school, known as the Village of Hope, which my friend Jacob is teaching classes in. The school teaches the residents the basics of construction. If anyone would like to read the article, let me know via e-mail and I can send you a PDF version of it. I first met Jacob and Tina Wilcock and their kids Melissa and Austin when I was on my mission in Alamogordo, New Mexico from February-August 2003. They were stationed at Holloman AFB, which was in the area that I covered. They became some of my best and closest friends and we've kept in touch ever since. I visited them about a year ago in England, where they are currently stationed at RAF Lakenheath until later this year.

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